Success in adulthood

While we know quite a lot about young children with ASD, much less is known about older children and adults, apart from some basic statistics. For example, we know that many young people with ASD do not go on to tertiary education or apprenticeships after they graduate from school and many adults with ASD do not find work or work only intermittently. We know little of why this is and the factors that would assist young people and adults to complete further education and find and retain a fulfilling job. This is why 'The Autism CRC' (Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders) decided to make research into the needs of young people and adults one of their priorities. OTARC researchers are part of the Autism CRC and the projects under this theme are funded through this initiative.

Current Studies

Studies currently recruiting participants

Transition from school to adult life for young people with ASD and their families

Researchers: Mirko Uljarević & Ru Ying Cai

Study ID code: MU1. Register for this study using our online form.

Funding: Autism CRC

Study aim: The transition from school to adult life is difficult for all young people. For people with ASD and their families it is especially difficult because support needs are not well understood and thus services are fragmented and poorly coordinated. In this longitudinal study we aim to understand the factors associated with the process of transitioning for Australian students diagnosed with ASD and their families. In comparison, we also want to find out about the transition issues faced by students who DO NOT have ASD or other disabilities.

Selection criteria for participants: Young people with an ASD and young people without an ASD who are in their final year of school, or first year post school (aged 15-25) and their parents or guardians.

What is involved for participants: Participants will be asked to complete one survey when they first agree to enter the project, followed by a survey 12 months later and again 24 months later.  The questions for the young persons will be about themselves, questions for their parents will be about their child and themselves, including questions about their wellbeing.

For more information or to participate in this study please contact: Dr Mirko Uljarevic or Ms Ru Ying Cai or you can follow this link.

Emotion regulation in adults

Researchers: Amanda Richdale, Mirko Uljarević & Ru Ying Cai

Study ID code: RYC1. Register for this study using our online form.

Funding: Autism CRC

Study aim: Emotion regulation is the ability to control our behaviour in response to an emotion we feel, such as anger, anxiety, frustration, joy. In the general population research has shown that ability to regulate one’s emotion is associated with a range of positive outcomes, such as academic, employment and social success. On the other hand, inability to control one’s emotion can lead to psychopathology. But there has not been much research with individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) to see whether the same applies to them. Hence, the aim of the study is to explore the relationship between emotion regulation and associated outcomes in adults diagnosed with ASC.

Selection criteria for participants: Adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition and typically developing adults aged 18 years and over.

What is involved for participants: Participant will be asked to complete an online survey, attend a one-on-one session at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre, and complete a 5-day diary on emotions they experience in their daily life and how they regulate them.

For more information or to participate in this study please contact: Ms Ru Ying Cai or Dr Mirko Uljarević

Autism and anxiety

Researchers: Mirko Uljarević, Amanda Richdale & Andrew Halim

Study ID code: AH1. Register for this study using our online form.

Study aim: Anxiety in adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition is poorly understood, and to date there has been little research to understand their experience with anxiety, specifically in the vital transition period from school to adulthood. The move from school to adult life can be an extremely challenging and stressful time for people with an Autism Spectrum Condition. This study aims to understanding anxiety in adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition, how it is experienced, and how this differs from individuals without an Autism Spectrum Condition.

Selection criteria: 18 – 40 year old adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition, as well as adults who have a diagnosis of anxiety but don’t have Autism.

What is involved for participants: Participants will be invited to be a part of a small focus group where they will be able to share experiences and views of anxiety, to describe what it is like for them, and how it feels. They will also be asked to complete a Q-sort task in which they are asked to sort a series of statements, and participate in a group discussion/interview about their experiences of anxiety.

For more information or to participate in this study please contact: Mr Andrew Halim & Dr Mirko Uljarević

Face recognition by adults with autism

Researchers: Darren Hedley, Ingrid Newman, Mirko Uljarević & Eva Laurent

Study ID code: DH1. Register for this study using our online form.

Study aim: Previous research suggests that people on the Autism Spectrum may have difficulty recognising faces, but the evidence is far from conclusive with many individuals actually showing good to exceptional skills. In this study we will further examine the ability to recognise faces of adults who have a diagnosis of Autism and compare them to typically developing adults. It is hoped this study will contribute to our understanding of how people process and recognise faces.

Selection criteria: Adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition and typically developing adults aged 18 years and over.

What is involved for participants: Participants will be asked to complete two face recognition tests at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre.  These tests will be presented on a computer which can track eye movements. Following the face recognition test participants will be asked to complete some paper and pencil type assessments.

For more information or to participate in this study please contact: Ms Ingrid Newman or Dr Darren Hedley

 

Other studies

  1. Emotion regulation in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder.
    Researchers: Ru Ying Cai, Amanda Richdale & Mirko Uljarević Funding:
    Autism CRC
  2. Comprehensive and unique profile of Australian school leavers with ASD.
    Researchers: Amanda Richdale, Ru Ying Cai & Mirko Uljarević,
    Torbjorn Falkmer (Curtin University), Nick Lennox (The University of Queensland), Julian Trollor (University of New South Wales)
    Funding:Autism CRC
  3. Painting a picture: Profiles of school leavers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
    Researchers: Ru Ying Cai, Amanda Richdale & Cheryl Dissanayake
  4. Longitudinal study of middle aged adults with ASD.
    Researchers: Julian Troller (The University of New South Wales), Nick Lennox (The University of Queensland), Torbjorn Falkmer (Curtin University), Amanda Richdale & Mirko Uljarević
    Funding:
    Autism CRC
  5. Finding a place in the workplace and in the community: Development and testing of an Educational Vocational Assessment Protocol (EVAP) and an Integrated Employment Success Tool (IEST).
    Researchers:
    Torbjorn Falkmer (Curtin University), Julian Troller (The University of New South Wales), Nick Lennox (The University of Queensland), Amanda Richdale & Mirko Uljarević
    Funding:
    Autism CRC
  6. Cognitive profiles associated with STEM occupations in autism: Is there really an autism advantage?
    Researchers: Eva Laurent, Amanda Richdale, Darren Hedley &  Cheryl Dissanayake.
  7. Health and Wellbeing for Adults.
    Researchers:
    Nick Lennox (The University of Queensland), Julian Troller (The University of New South Wales), Torbjorn Falkmer (Curtin University), Amanda Richdale & Mirko Uljarević
    Funding:
    Autism CRC
  8. Successful employment outcomes for people with ASD.
    Researchers: Darren Hedley, Cheryl Dissanayake, Amanda Richdale & Mirko Uljarević,